Monday, January 31, 2011

Common homebirth advocate reactions

When a mother shares her story of loss or injury, she is met with animosity. In order for these people to make us look like complete idiots, to put it bluntly, they have to make comments. Below are the most common ones and my rebuttals::

1. Your baby would of died in the hospital too.
Unless my child had a fatal anomaly, no they wouldn't of. Hospitals have ways of monitoring so they would of known something was wrong. Knowing something was wrong, they could of given a c-section if the signs showed up during labor. If baby was born and in trouble, doctors and nurses could of addressed it immediately. They have life-saving equipment and NICU's.

2. You should of researched your midwife better.
When a midwife comes highly recommended by trustworthy friends, you believe them. They generally are not going to be honest and say "Yeah, I've caused a few deaths, but yours should be ok". Does anybody know exactly who tracks a midwife's record?? Oh, that's right, NOBODY! So, exactly how are we suppose to know?? We don't have women calling us for references, so you know new clients aren't being told about us! The only way we can connect with prospective clients is if we see a woman asking for midwife recommendations in our area or asking if anyone has worked with this midwife.

3. You should of known something was wrong.
When you have a midwife, you choose to work with her because you trust her. So, when she is telling you that everything is fine, you trust and believe in her. If you didn't, you wouldn't of hired her to begin with. She is suppose to be a medical professional who can pick up any potential complications. Didn't she tell you how she handles various emergencies?? Yeah, enough said.

4. Why aren't you advocating for better hospitals/doctors?
A DR or hospital played no part in my loss. An under-qualified, under-educated, uninsured midwife did in my home. Why aren't those who bitch about horrible doctors and hospitals advocating for better doctors and hospitals?? We are asking for midwives to actually get actual nursing degrees. This means going to college and getting a better education. This means making yourself eligible to carry insurance. If a plumber or contractor has to be insured, why doesn't a midwife? These other professions are dealing with a house. Midwives are dealing with LIVES. Lives are irreplaceable! If you know more than doctors, you should have a very easy time getting a degree!! Let's face it, anybody can decide they want to be a midwife or take a course to get a midwife certification! So, exactly what are homebirth advocates advocating for??

5. I fail to see how homebirth led to this.
Death at home, death due to not receiving specialized medical care is exactly how homebirth led to this. Is there an OR in our house?? No, I don't think any of us have one of those!

6. This was because of a negligent midwife, not homebirth.
Again, had we not chosen to birth at home, we wouldn't of hired the midwife we did. Yes, she was negligent. However, again, this was a choice we made to have our child at home.


Now, I question why the mothers who speak out are vilified like we are. Would it make people happy if we sulked away and shut our mouths so we don't tarnish the romanticized image of "safer than hospital" birth?? If a mom has a hospital birth and her baby dies (these are mainly due to health related issues), she has unending support from everyone. So, why is it different with homebirth loss moms? Somehow it has to be our fault. It's not though. We chose providers who ultimately failed us and our children. If anything, homebirth advocates should be pissed that midwives are causing this kind of damage, walking away, and continuing to practice. These sub-par individuals are the ones making homebirth look bad, not us. Actually, homebirth advocates and their hatred towards us mothers are doing almost as good as midwives are in making it look bad! Why?? The attitudes towards loss moms, the hiding of real stories, and the hiding of statistics. You are doing a fantastic job preventing mothers from feeling safe enough to share their stories of loss. There are real women, real babies, and real families being affected here, so why don't you care?? Because we might take away "your options"?? What about our options? Wait, it's too late for us and our babies to have options, thank you homebirth advocates. Ignoring homebirth deaths isn't going to make them go away. Sub-par midwives won't make homebirth safe. It's time to place blame where it really belongs, on the shoulders of midwives across this country.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

So outraged over maternal mortality

Recently, Ina May Gaskin has reported that maternal mortality is on the rise. The supposed rate is 14.5 out of 100,000. Now, according to the CDC's stats from 2003, the rate is 12.3 out of 100,000. Let's break this down to the 1,000 mark. That would equal .145. NCB advocates are angry about a rate of .145? Then, they are blaming modern obstetrics and "unhealthy women".

The out of hospital death rate is 7.84 (out of 1,000). The amount of babies dying outside of the hospital is 54 times higher than the amount of maternal deaths.

So, based on the numbers, where should the outrage lie? Why are NCB advocates making a huge fuss about a rate of .145? We know that pregnancy carries risks and can cause maternal health problems. We also know that people do have more health related issues these days. Luckily modern medicine can help a majority of people suffering from health related issues both in and out of pregnancy. Look at modern day numbers compared to those of days gone by when it was commonplace for a mother to die. Imagine all of these pregnancy induced issues that are now manageable. 100 years ago, the maternal mortality rates were 15.4 out of 100,000. I do admit that for having so much technology, the improvement is not incredibly high, at least not as high as I would imagine!

However, looking at infant mortality rates, we know that in 1911, the infant mortality rate was 135 out of 1,000. So, out of 100,000 births 13,500 babies died. In 2005, the perinatal/neonatal death rates were 5.79. If we look at this out of 100,000 births, that would be 579 babies. So, only 4.3% of babies now die compared to the good ole days. If you look at out of hospital rates, 5.8% of babies now die compared to 100 years ago.

Which numbers should we be outraged over again?? Perhaps it is time for Ina May to care about the babies dying in the name of homebirth!

Looking to start up other blogs

I am looking for other mothers who have had negative homebirth experiences that would be willing to be authors on a collaborative blog. It is time to make our voices heard!

In addition to that idea, I would also like to start a memorial blog strictly for homebirth loss moms to share their stories and maybe even a picture of their child.

If you are interested in either of these, you can contact me at momma6_2angels at yahoo.com

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